What is application development?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard people talking about “apps”. Normally, they’re referring to programs that run on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. In recent years, apps have become a phenomenon. There’s an app for almost everything.

If you’re new to the world of apps and app development, here’s a neat little article that will have you waxing lyrical about it at the next board meeting.

What are apps?

There are two main types of apps: mobile apps and web apps. Mobile apps are software programs designed to be accessed on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Often, they cleverly integrate with device hardware, such as GPS location data or built-in cameras, to achieve their purpose. Mobile apps are typically available for download through the App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android and distribution platforms. Some are free while others may be bought.

Web apps (or web applications) are programs that runs in a web browser, such as Google Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer (soon to be replaced with Microsoft Edge). So in other words, if you can access the web, you can access your app. Web apps can also detect and integrate with mobile device hardware, similar to mobile apps. Web apps have become a popular choice because you can update and maintain the program without needing to redistribute or reinstall software.

The Application Development Process

If you’re looking to engage a digital agency to design your app, it can be helpful to know what the experience will be like during the application development process.

  1. Develop a functional specification: In simple terms, a functional specification maps out the functions of a system. The outcome is a list of requirements against which the final design can be measured. It is especially important for complex applications that incorporate the needs of multiple stakeholders.
  2. Design interactive wireframes: Using your function specification, your designer will create interactive wireframes or mock-ups of web pages and app designs. Using web-based prototyping software, these interactive wireframes are generated and used in a clickable, simulated environment.
  3. Manage project using Agile Principles: For complex app development projects, an iterative and incremental development process may be needed to reduce inherent risks. Agile software development methodologies are based on breaking a project into smaller segments and allowing solutions to evolve via collaboration and continuous feedback.
  4. Conduct QA and usability testing: Unit and usability testing is a crucial part of the development process. The practice allows developers to find and fix any defects in layout, function and process, and refine the user-interface design.

App development with iFactory

If you’re looking for more information about app development, we’ve also written an article 10 things to know about app development. Otherwise, you can always contact iFactory directly for more tailored advice.

iFactory is an award-winning, full service digital agency in Brisbane. For more than ten years, we’ve been helping hundreds of clients grow through intelligent web solutions. So, why not leverage our experience and get us working for you today.

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